Weather problems – UPDATE as at 17:00 Friday, January 8

Aberdeenshire Council update.

A break in the weather has made responding to ongoing issues in relation to the weather easier, but there are still significant challenges facing those involved in the council’s response.

The following is intended to update you on the current position but please be aware that this is a moving picture and the situation has been changing rapidly.

Roads teams have been working flat out to minimise disruption in very difficult circumstances and council staff in general are to be commended for their efforts, with many going beyond the call of duty to help.

It is expected to be dry over the next 24 to 36 hours, but there remains a severe flood warning in place for Inverurie and Ellon. Further rain is possible on Saturday night into Sunday, but at this stage it is not expected to be significant, albeit it may prolong the situation slightly, rather than worsen it.

Overnight

Substantial flooding in Inverurie saw around 100 people attend a rest centre set up at Inverurie Academy. Forty people attended at the Kemnay rest centre, but this has now been stood down. The Kintore rest centre was stood down due to lack of demand.

In Port Elphinstone the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service reported rescuing 50 people.

Scottish and Southern Electricity reported a widespread power cut including 600 in Inverurie and 150 in Ellon.

Also in Ellon, 37 people attended the rest centre there, but the centre in Turriff was stood down. Stonehaven’s rest centre stood down around midnight.

In Huntly the river Deveron peaked at 19:00 and residents were moved back into the care home, having been evacuated earlier in the evening.

On Deeside, river peaks passed with no significant flooding incidents to note, though council teams remained on standby to respond. All local rest centres have now closed.

Today

In some communities in Banff and Buchan there has been localised flooding, mostly relating to surface water, which is being dealt with by local teams. Sandbags have been deployed where necessary.

There have been no significant new developments elsewhere in Aberdeenshire.
Road/bridge closures

The Deveron Bridge was closed overnight last night, but reopened to traffic in the morning after safety checks. There was no need to close Banff Bridge.

Many roads remain passable only with care and a significant number are still closed due to flooding, structural damage and landslips.

Engineers have been busy checking bridges on the Don for structural integrity following the floods, but as yet none have required closure.

Despite repeated messages about the dangers of failing to heed road closed signs, many motorists continue to put their safety at risk and distract emergency services from efforts elsewhere.

Reports had been circulating that the council and police had run out of Road Closed signage – this is not the case and the council’s sign shop can quickly produce additional signage if required.
Sandbags

Sandbags have been deployed to affected areas for collection and are available at all council roads depots. People are advised to stay away from flood water where possible and not to take unnecessary risks. 

School closures

The best and most up to date source of information for school closures and issues with school transport is our website: http://bit.ly/1mEv5ZZ

Donations

It is testament to the community spirit here in the north east that so many people are offering help, goods and donations to assist people affected by recent severe weather.

We are getting lots of offers of everything from food to furniture, but would like to ask anyone who wants to donate not to leave items in or nearby affected communities.

Although it’s a nice problem to have, the sheer volume of material being left at the rest centre at Victoria Barracks and at the Victoria and Albert Halls has been causing logistical issues.

The scale of donations is overwhelming and there is no longer a need at this time for clothes, toys, bedding and furniture, though this may obviously change.

Food however will continue to be gratefully received at existing food banks who will have established capacity to store and distribute goods to those most in need.

Updates

Please see Aberdeenshire Council’s Facebook page or Twitter feed @aberdeenshire for regular updates.

You can get live information about flood alerts and warnings from SEPA at: http://floodline.sepa.org.uk/floodupdates/

You can also go to our website and check the quick links for information on flood warnings from our colleagues at SEPA, as well as school closure updates and roads information.

Anyone being affected by flooding should contact the emergency services on 999.
Anyone seeking flood advice should call floodline on 0345 9881188 or see the floodline website.

Further updates will be issued as appropriate.

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